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The Price of the Power

MeterI’ve been talking, lately, about the power of God. If we’re going to walk in true spiritual power, then we need to stop talking about it, and admit our lack. We must start with a true, Biblical knowledge of what power is and how to use it.

In the New Testament, the Greek word for power is dunamis. It’s the root of our English words dynamic, dynamite, and dynamo. When we study how this word is used in Scripture, we find some interesting things. First of all, we’re faced with the fact that there’s nothing new. Jesus dealt with the same issues that trouble us, when He talked with the religious leaders of His day.

In Matthew, chapter 22, we’re told of an encounter that Jesus had with the Sadducees. They came to Him with a question. It wasn’t that they needed Jesus’ advice. The Sadducees were a Jewish religious group who didn’t believe in the resurrection power of God.

They had a trick question that they used frequently to prove their point. It was about a woman who had seven husbands. They asked; who would be her husband in the resurrection? They were trying to trick Jesus into saying something foolish.

The Lord showed that in actuality the point was not about the question, but about their hearts. Jesus answered their question in a way they didn’t expect. By doing so, He went straight to the source of their problem.

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”
Matthew 22:29

The word error in the above verse is a Greek word that literally means roaming from the path. These two issues that Jesus spoke about are the root cause of us leaving the path of truth. The first is; not knowing the Scripture.

It’s very easy to fall into error if you don’t know the Word of God. The second problem is; not understanding the power of God. Every error of false teaching can be traced to one of those two foundations.

Are we guilty of this kind of error? Have we begun to roam from the truth? If we don’t have a proper understanding of the power of God, then the answer is yes. We must understand that the power of God produces change.

That’s true power. If there’s no change taking place in the lives of believers under a ministry, then no amount of talk can produce any power. It’s not about goose-bumps or emotions. Were they healed? Were their lives changed?

The road to seeing the power of God at work is a hard one. It requires humility. The Sadducees of Jesus’ day were not willing to admit their lack, and come to Christ. We must lay aside our pride, and come to the place of brokenness before the Lord.

Question: How far are you willing to change in order to see God’s power work through you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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Posted by on June 27, 2016 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Living Saved – Past, Present & Future

GalaxyIn my last post I talked about how the work of salvation was started in your life.  But that’s not the end of it.  The Word has a greater job to do in you.

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
James 1:21

James is writing to the church in this passage of Scripture.  As I’ve stated before, I believe that the book of James was the first New Testament Scripture to be written.  If that’s true, then the Word he refers to could not be the Bible, since that was unknown at this point in church history.

What James is telling us is that the Word has been planted in us and is continuing to grow in us.  It’s there to change us.  Actually, what he says in the original Greek, is that this seed has the power (dunamis) to save your soul.  James is telling us to allow the seed of the Word to do its job, the saving of our souls.

Wait a minute!  I thought that if I accepted Christ, then I’m saved already.  The answer to that is an important one.  Yes, you were saved from sin and hell.  If you died right now you would go to heaven to be with the Lord.

However, in the broadest sense, salvation is not a one time thing.  It’s ongoing.  I’m saved (from sin and hell), I’m being saved (from the effects of sin in me), and I will be saved (from my flesh).  It’s this ongoing process of salvation that James is writing about.

Salvation itself is a package deal.  It includes everything that Christ paid for on the cross.  That same Word that brought me over from death to life also works God’s health and provision in me.  But for this to work, it has to start in my soul and work its way out.

That’s why the Word is called a seed.  Much of its work is done in the unseen places, below the surface.  Then, as it continues its work, it bursts out into the sunlight to bring the work in my life to completion – the bearing of fruit.

The question may arise – where does the seed come from?  The answer is simple.  It comes from the processes of the Spirit.  The seed grows, produces the plant and then the fruit.  The fruit itself contains more seed.  That seed is then planted in new ground to produce even more – and the cycle continues.

So, in reality, the seed comes from those who at one time received the Word, allowed it to grow, and then brought forth fruit.  The seed comes from someone who accepted the Word.  According to the parables of Christ, there can be 30, 60, or even 100 times what was originally sown.  God wants an abundant harvest.  The greater the harvest, the greater the next planting will be.

Question: How much has your life changed since you first made Christ Lord of your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Word of God

 

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The Law and the Power of God

PowerlessI’ve posted in the past about the power of God and the power of sin.  How do I know which power I’m using?  When I understood the answer to this, I was shocked.  I always thought that I was as far from legalistic as you could get.  Be prepared, I think that the answer might change your whole outlook as well.

My goal is to answer two questions over the next few posts.  Why does the church seem to have no power?  And what do we need to do to get it back?

When I say this, I’m comparing us to what I read in the book of Acts.  I’m also thinking about the stories I heard from my grandparent’s generation.  They came to the Lord in the wake of the Azuza Street revival.  When they were saved they saw miracles, healings, signs, and wonders.  What has happened to us since then?

You may think as I did, “I’m not legalistic.”  But do we even know what legalism looks like?  Let’s find out what the New Testament has to say about it.

You foolish Galatians!  Who has bewitched you?  Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.  I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
Galatians 3:1-2

The word translated foolish in the above verse literally means not thinking.  Paul is asking these Galatian Christians why they are not thinking about what they’re doing.

The next line he writes literally means, who has fascinated you by false representations?  It’s obvious from the way he writes that these believers were not being convinced by the truth, but rather a clever counterfeit.  Paul reminds them of the fact that they first believed Jesus Christ was crucified for them.

He then asks a simple question – how did you receive the Spirit?  The implied answer is that the Spirit was received by faith, trusting in God to do the work.

Paul was re-emphasizing to them that the law can’t save anyone.  The law only condemns.  Paul, however, continues along this line with another question and we have all but ignored its implications.

Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
Galatians 3:5

What most people don’t realize is that the word translated miracles in the New Testament is the Greek word dunamisPOWER.  Usually it is just the context that the translators use to decide whether to use miracle or power as the English word.

The question Paul asks is fundamental to our understanding of the power of God.  How does God give His Spirit and work power in the church?  Obviously, the answer is by faith.

Question: Why does following the law never lead to the power of God?

© Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Faith, Legalism, Power of God

 

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